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Guest Blog: How Online Reviews Fit into the Customer Experience

This week we feature an article by Megan Wenzl who writes about the customer experience and online reviews. Ask your customers to post online reviews. This shows that you have confidence that you will take care of your customers by delivering a great customer service experience and taking care of any problems that may arise – in such a way that will earn you a glowing online review. – Shep Hyken

Customer experience (CX) is being talked about and thrown around in so many boardroom conversations. For good reason: CX has quickly become today’s most important business benchmark, as well as the most important way for firms to achieve success.

As you get started with your CX management strategy, it’s important to understand how online reviews play into this strategy.

Let’s begin by taking a step back and look at customer service (which is part of the customer experience) and online reviews.

Online Reviews and Customer Service

Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met. It’s part of the entire customer experience.

Customer service can be delivered by the front office executive who checks in the guests upon their arrival at one of your hotel locations. Or the sommelier who educates the diners about wine — and pours a heady glass for them — at your restaurant. Or the voice on the other end of the phone who provides step-by-step instructions for the smart TV owner who has run into a snag after trying to complete a software update.

You may already have customer service staff in your organization, reacting and responding to customers at certain points of contact (hotel check-in, restaurant visit, after-sales phone call, responding to online reviews).

The sum of all these points of contact is the customer experience.

Some define CX as the interactions between a company and a customer over the duration of their relationship. Others view CX as a kind of digital benchmark: the sum of user interactions and points of contact on, say, a business’ website or mobile app or booking platform. Others, still, see CX as an organization’s ability to respond to and solve the questions and problems of customers.

Customer experience is the cumulative impact of all interactions and experiences between your business and the customer, at every touchpoint across the entire customer journey –  and viewed entirely from your customer’s perspective.

What does this mean exactly?

Online reviews help you see your business through customer’s eyes. The idea behind customer experience is that you become truly proactive and intuitive, always seeing through your customers’ eyes and having a better understanding of their needs, wants, and expectations. Online reviews are part of that lens.

The scope of CX isn’t limited to a single point of contact. It encompasses the entire customer journey, through multiple processes, policies, and people.

It can include a customer’s initial awareness or discovery of your product, service, or brand, and it can begin long before the customer makes direct contact or sets foot in your physical business location. This is likely to happen online. According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey, 63.6 percent of consumers report they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business.

Google is the main place where consumers will discover your business.

It’s clear that online review management is just one aspect of the overall customer experience. This means that your customer service and marketing departments — along with the rest of your organization — will benefit from understanding the kind of CX you’re delivering, and from analyzing the entire customer journey from beginning to end.

When your customer service, marketing, and all other departments in your organization understand the customer experience, your company can better meet and exceed customer expectations.

Megan Wenzl is the associate editor for ReviewTrackers, an award-winning customer feedback software that helps businesses measure and transforms the customer experience.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.

Read Shep’s latest Forbes Articles: Oracle’s Modern Customer Conference Provides Plenty Of Lessons

Getting Customer Support From Companies Will Be Easier In 2018

 

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